For some reason, I have been craving comfort food lately. It is probably not a good thing, considering I am going to Africa to the beach for three weeks, one month exactly from today! Oh well, what can you do. Cheese is one of my biggest weaknesses. I could probably eat an entire block of cheese as a snack, but I am getting off the topic.
Some of you may know, I recently was given a cook book called Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers. It is a great book that I recommend all of you take a look through at some point. It tells you about all the different sorts of leafy greens and types of salad toppings, as well as how to make all sorts of dressings. Either way, the book motivated me to make more unique salads. I usually find myself putting the same vegetables in every salad I make, despite what else I am eating it with. Now I have realized that choosing a salad that compliments a meal can make a huge difference.
With that said, this salad is much different than most I have made. I came across this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine while bored at work the other day- yes I spent half of my day at work reading cooking magazines… Shh! One thing that makes this salad unique is its warm vinaigrette. This dressing went perfectly with the roasted Brussels sprouts. The bacon and maple syrup also added a ton of flavor. This is one salad that did not need a ton of toppings to complete it. I even ate it as a complete meal the next day!
One thing I really miss about summertime is being able to grill. Grilling is fun, social and delicious. I have really been craving some warmth and sunshine lately, maybe it was the week of -30 degree temperatures a few weeks ago that made me sick of winter. Either way, with hopes for an early spring, I decided to make burgers this week, except I sauteed them instead of grilling them since winter is unfortunately still here for now.
I had seen a photo of an inside-out burger recently and the idea seemed pretty awesome. I added one homemade onion ring to the top of each slider to create a seriously tasty combo; added a bit of adobo barbecue sauce that I had made previously and voila! The perfect miniature burger for a spring-time grill out.
Soups and stews are great for an easy, worry-free dinner. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and let the pot work its magic. If you have other things to do, or don’t feel like slaving over your stove, I highly recommend making a soup or stew. Me being the spice lover that I am, I like to go buck wild when making mine. You would have to add a LOT of spices to mess up… When in doubt always give it an extra shake. It is also important to taste along the way with soups and stews as well though, just in case the flavor needs to be adjusted. I usually try to wait until the end before adding any salt.
This stew is healthy and delicious. If you were a fan of my Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup, I suggest making this one as well. Many pork stew recipes use hominy, but I opted for using chickpeas because they are packing with nutrients and are much healthier than a corn based product. If you like your stew spicier, add a bit of cayenne pepper to this recipe. This is great serves with a toasted loaf of French bread.
After cooking many meals for friends, I realized that nothing excites people more than a delicious pizza. This week I threw a pizza party with friends. We only had one oven and two pizza trays, so we could only cook two pizzas at a time. In the end, I made six 14″ pizzas. We cut each pizza into ten slices, one for each person, and sampled one slice of each pizza. We would decide which pizzas were coming next while the previous two were baking. By the sixth pizza, we could barely take another bite!
We made all sorts of pizzas- from BBQ Chicken to Chicken Alfredo to Meat Lovers all the way to Hawaiian. Each time a new pizza was taken out, everybody was riled up- “This one is my favorite!” “Wait, no, THIS one is my favorite!” “Ah, no, THIS one is definitely the best!” I have never seen my friends so excited about something I cooked. This made me being to think about the wondrous pizza pie. A fresh pizza crust is like a blank canvas for a chef. You can combine any flavors you want to create your own unique masterpiece. I suggest to all of you that you make homemade pizzas at some point. My advice? Be adventurous, take risks, mix unlikely combinations- you’ll be impressed with the outcome!
Super Bowl Sunday means finger food and a messy kitchen right? Wrong. This Sunday you can make a delicious- and filling- full meal. Plus, it won’t keep you in the kitchen all day away from the company. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t always make some messy finger food to go with it! This chili, adapted from my mom at Cooking With Michele, has the buffalo wing flavor, combined with healthy ingredients like carrots and celery. Adding blue cheese to the chili and the garlic bread completes the dish and gives you an authentic buffalo wing feel without the mess- or the fat!
You know those nights when you have an entire meal planned out in advanced, but when dinner time roles around you just don’t feel like eating that oh-so-exciting dish? Well, last night was one of those nights. As delicious as sun-dried tomato and feta stuffed chicken sounded, I just wasn’t in the mood for those flavors. I wanted spice and citrus. I decided to save that for another night. Instead, this is what I came up with.
The cilantro vinaigrette pulls this dish together. It adds a nice tangy flavor that is a great compliment to the spicy shrimp. Roasting the tomatoes gives them move flavor and juice, making this recipe even more delicious! I was planning on eating this with guacamole and salsa, but tasted it and realized it didn’t need any additions and was perfect as is.
I have an addiction to Mexican food, or any food similar to it, so I am always looking for new recipes so I am not eating the same thing again and again. I have made enchiladas before, but only with chicken. I also have attempted to make green chile before, but put an entire bag of extremely spicy chile peppers in the food and ruined the dish (I had to add an entire jar of tomato sauce, and entire bag of cheese, and milk to make it even semi-bearable!).
I can now say that I have found one of the best enchilada recipes and green chile recipes. Thanks to Drick’s Rambling Cafe for the enchilada recipe, which I tweaked a bit. I will definitely be keeping this recipe for future meals. I chose to slow cook the chicken so that I could easily shred it, plus it gives it much more flavor. You can cook the green chile with pork if you would like, but I felt that it wasn’t necessary with all of the meat in the enchiladas.
This is the first of a few re-posts from my previous blog. I thought that it would be a good idea to post a couple of my favorite recipes from the past six months to kick-start my new location. Hope you can find something you may have missed before!
My friend originally found this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple. It is an affordable recipe if you ever need to feed a large group!